ROAD MAP: President Bush is making moves toward a broader Middle East Peace Plan, following the election of a new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister:
British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is Bush’s key ally over Iraq, has been urging Washington to push Israel and the Palestinians to find a peaceful resolution. A strong U.S. initiative on Israel could help assuage European doubts about U.S. policy and help allies like Blair, who face strong domestic criticism for backing Bush against Iraq.
Powell said on Thursday that the Bush administration would continue its pursuit of a “road map” or formula for peace devised in partnership with the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. It aims to create a Palestinian state by the year 2005, carved out of land that Israel has held for more than 35 years.
The administration also has demanded democratic changes within the Palestinian movement, free elections and the removal of Arafat, the Palestinians’ longtime leader.
All of these moves would be an improvement.